The Marty Smith Podcast: NASCAR President Steve Phelps Explains Decision To Ban Confederate Flags

by Jonathan Howard

The Daytona 500 is set to take place tomorrow. The Marty Smith Podcast is down there and spoke with NASCAR President Steve Phelps.

Daytona is the epicenter of racing. The International Speedway is the end all be all. Outsider is taking this weekend by storm with Marty and Wes talking to NASCAR’s biggest stars for five hours to get this great content to you, our Outsiders!

The sport is making an attempt to grow and expand to new viewers and new markets. A big part of that push comes from NASCAR President Steve Phelps. Phelps spoke with the guys about the excitement around Daytona this season, the new cars, and recent changes. That includes the decision to ban the Confederate flag.

“I think the most difficult decision was banning the Confederate flag. I think for some people they’re like, ‘Well you’re just turning your back on your roots, that’s what you’re doing.’ Which is not a true statement,” Phelps said. “Because most of the fans here… I mean, Marty you’ve been here. Were there some Confederate flags? There were, right? And when you saw the Confederate flag, it said to some people, ‘I’m not welcome here.'”

From there, NASCAR President Steve Phelps felt that he had to make a decision and soon. It was down to a business and moral decision at the end of the day, and a question of, where do we want the sport to go from here?

“So we needed to make a determination whether we were going to appeal to a much larger fanbase, or not. And, so the decision was made… [my team] said this is the right thing to do for our sport, at this moment in time.”

NASCAR sees a future with new audiences. Listen to the rest of the podcast here.

NASCAR President Steve Phelps Putting Plans into Action

This season is all about new. NASCAR President Steve Phelps knows that the sport has to stay ahead of the curve. Perhaps in the 2000s, the sport allowed itself to stagnate. It was content with what it had. Now, it is clear that if NASCAR wants to continue into the future, it needs to switch things up. New cars, exciting drivers, new venues and events, and much more. That’s been Phelps and his team.

These Next Gen cars are awesome. They have the digital mirrors, all-new design and set up, and those BBS wheels look oh so nice on them. It seems that drivers are excited about them and the playing field should be made more even because of the new updates. So, fans will have a fun product to watch on the track. That’s the most important thing at the end of the day.

The Daytona 500 kicks off the regular season. Those first points are up for grabs and drivers are looking to make a statement. Or perhaps, get a slow and humble start just to make a run through the middle and end of the season. The Playoffs are a long way away. NASCAR President Steve Phelps is ready. Are you?